← Back to Reviews

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) N

This happened to be available on local TV's online service so I decided to give a try to this Foreign HoF winner.

So it's a romance (my not so favorite genre) and musical about young love in small French town of Cherbourg. Geneviéve and Guy are in love. Geneviéve's mother isn't too happy about it and when Guy is drafted to army she pretty much hopes her daughter will forget the young man. It happens that Geneviéve is already pregnant which complicates the forgetting part. Then new suitor appears and we have the expected love triangle (or square).

Surprisingly I kinda liked the story. It wasn't anything new but it mostly worked. It was also a nice "twist" that for the last part Guy suddenly becomes the main character after being gone for the whole second part. Ending felt fair and it had a touch of dreariness and bitterness that spiced up otherwise very syrupy film.

It was the musical part that I actually hated. I didn't like how all the dialogue was sung and there were no real songs at all. For the most part it sounded very monotonous and forced. I much prefer spoken dialogue with occasional songs to this. Acting was actually really good despite of the constant singing and everyone felt overtly emotional. Catherine Deneuve was very lovely.

Cinematography was great and the whole film was ridiculously colorful. There were many beautiful scenes like Guy's departure to army and the ending at the snowy gas station. I really wanted to like this more but the horrible sung dialogue marred the rest quite badly and made watching somewhat annoying.